Study of *DEPRESSION & STRESS*
What is depression?
Have you ever felt like you don't want this life anymore? You can't handle it? Or the the fact that there is so much pressure from so many different things going on with your life? Well you are not alone. So many people across the world suffer from what is known as depression. This medical condition is a serious illness classified as 'Mood Disorder' that could be described as feeling of sadness, loss or anger that doesn't let the person go through their day. According to the CDC webpage it is mentioned that 1 in 10 Americans suffer from this disease. There are several ways that a person will go through depression and such examples would be: a loss of a loved one, relationships, work and even school. It is said that students in Universities suffer a higher rate of depression because of their studies and the pressure for higher and better grades. This serious illness can lead to many other diseases such as
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
In fact there are certain signs and symptoms associated with depression.
- Difficulty concentrating & remembering details
- Decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
- Persistent aches or pains
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Having a "death wish"
- Thoughts of suicide
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies
- Loss of sex drive
- Overeating or appetite loss
There are two main categories of depression: 1. Clinical depression and 2. Dysthymia. Your depression might range from mild to temporary episodes of sadness to severe, ongoing depression.
Let's take a closer look at Clinical depression first. Clinical depression or otherwise knowns as 'Major Depression' is when a person has a feeling of hopelessness, loss, trouble eating and sleeping at night or even enjoying a day with friends and family. Some people might experience this once in their life time or this may go on for a life time. The symptoms might appear every day for two weeks depending on how bad this might be. It is said that people who are at the age of 18 and over might have suicidal thoughts or experience major depression and adults may suffer 1 or 2 episodes of major depression in their lifetime. It is stated that women are twice as likely to get depression than men. This might occur during pregnancy, puberty, menstruation or even menopause. Women who are working, raising a child and taking care of their household suffer more depression and the same goes for single parents who are trying to raise their children on their own.
The other type of depression is Dysthymia which is a mild but long term chronic form of depression. The symptoms might often last anywhere between 1 or 2 years. Dysthymia interferes with your ability to function and enjoy life. With dysthymia, you may lose interest in normal daily activities, feel hopeless, lack productivity, and have low self-esteem. In school children Dysthymia may occur along side with those who have ADHD, behavioral or learning disorders, anxiety disorders, or developmental disabilities. Some of the signs include:
- Behavior problems
- Poor school performance
- Poor social skills
- Low self-esteem
In cases of depression like these the body's response team is working really hard. Your hormone, Cortisol is released in the bloodstream preparing you for any type of danger that may come up in your way. On the other hand the hormone Adrenaline is increased by the elevation in your BP (Blood Pressure) and by increased levels of Glucose in the body. The brain sets the system to an 'always ready' mode and it is stated that the Amygdala the brains panic system grows in size.
There are certain myths that if you look at the bright side or if you just forget about it and leave it to the side it will all go away on it's own, but that is not true and doesn't work in cases like this. Having depression does not go aways with all of these thoughts, individuals can’t just snap out of depression any more than they can will themselves out of chronic asthma. Some people might indicate that you do not need treatment for your depression but that is wrong. Those who suffer from major depression need medications like SSRI ( Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) which is a Drug class used to treat depressive disorders and anxiety disorders. There are drugs in this class such as Citalopram (Brand name: Celexa) which is an antidepressant approved by the FDA to treat depression.
Helping your stress
We do know now that depression when at it's worst can't be treated with ignoring it or trying to say that "it's a good day", there is always a moment that it will come and haunt you down. At the same time people who are under stress from work or school related, or any other activities might consider doing Yoga! Yes..that's right Yoga! In this section of the article we will talk about some of the ways that yoga can help you to decrease the level of stress in your life.
Let me tell you a little about the history of Yoga before we get into its benefits. The development of yoga can be traced back to over 5,000 years ago, although some people might say 10,000 years ago whichever it is this helpful exercise was developed in northern India. The word yoga was first mentioned in the oldest sacred texts, the Rig Veda. The Vedas are a collection of texts containing songs, mantras and rituals to be used by Brahmans (Priests). During the classical period of yoga, it was used for different beliefs, ideas and rituals but then after a progress during the post classical period it was used to rejuvenate the body and the spirit. In modern day, yoga is practiced for variety of reasons such as keeping a healthy heart, breathing techniques, calming of the body and mind.
Now to explain the reasons why I mentioned Yoga for stress here it is: Yoga helps to loosen up the tense muscles in your body. The areas of the body that tend to carry the most stress are the neck, shoulders, and back. The first type of yoga is controlled breathing which provides relief for stress. There are several different types of breathing patterns, ranging from slow and calming to rapid. Deep and slow breaths help with other situations like:
- Lower/stable blood pressure
- Increased energy levels
- Muscle relaxation
Another benefit of yoga is for people who suffer from the stress and the feeling of anxiety/depression from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Men or women who have served in war zones, or a frightening situation are more likely to suffer from PTSD. Events that have involved death, a very serious injury, threat to self or others, where intense fear or powerlessness is experienced causes such symptoms. People at high risk are victims of natural disasters; survivors of torture or violent crime or sexual abuse.
First there is the Salutation Seal - excellent way to induce a meditative state of awareness. This would be the first step in starting your yoga. It represents the balance and harmony between the right and left side reunited on our center.
Next is called Easy Pose - This promotes being grounded and brings inner calmness, such as: opens your hips, lengthens your spine, amplifies serenity, tranquility, and eliminates anxiety, relieves physical and mental exhaustion and tiredness.
The next one commonly known and well recognized is called the Cat Pose- This pose provides a gentle massage to the spine and belly organs while acting as a powerful stress buster. Not only that but has benefits for the Digestive tract and the spinal fluids as well.
EASY POSE - Yoga relief
Science of Depression
Overall having stress and depression in life can be overwhelming but at the same time learning to control it would give you a powerful and yet more relaxed state of mind.
If you are pregnant and going through depression, consult with your doctor concerning the health of you and your baby. For any other and further info talk with a therapist or consult with your MD or PCP.
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© 2015 Mahsa S